Head of College’s Office

The Head of College is the head and ranking officer of Berkeley College, responsible for the college’s intellectual, social, athletic, and artistic life. The college is administered through the Head of College’s Office, which is staffed by an operations manager, senior administrative assistant, and student aides. The Head of College works closely with the Dean, Resident Fellows, the Dining Hall Manager, and other staff to build the best possible community for our students.

Head of College David A.D. Evans    

David A.D. Evans is a member of the faculty of the Department of Geology & Geophysics. Professor Evans focuses his research on plate tectonics, the past motions of continents across Earth’s surface. He is director of the Yale Paleomagnetism Laboratory, which traces this movement by measuring fossil magnetism preserved in ancient rocks from around the world. His undergraduate classes at Yale span from introductory geology to global tectonics, natural resources, and changes in Earth’s climate. In these courses and for his research, he has taken students on numerous geological field trips across the New England Appalachians, as well as to more far-flung destinations including Australia, Barbados, Canada, Italy, Namibia, New Zealand, Norway, and South Africa.

His work has elucidated the configurations of vanished supercontinents named Pangea, Rodinia, and Nuna (each separated by about 600 million years); characterized the geometry of Earth’s ancient magnetic field; and provided evidence for globally engulfing “Snowball Earth” ice ages that occurred deep in earth’s history, around the time when animals were first evolving. He has co-led two UNESCO-based international geological projects to examine ancient supercontinents and their relation to the broader Earth system.

Professor Evans grew up in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and graduated from Yale College (where he was a resident of Berkeley) in 1992. His is a family of Berkeleyites: his father is BK’62 and his sister is BK’89. He earned his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Western Australia before joining the Yale faculty in 2002. That same year, he received a competitive research fellowship for early-career scientists from the David & Lucile Packard Foundation; in 2015, he was elected a fellow of the Geological Society of America, receiving the society’s George P. Woollard Award “for outstanding contributions to geology through the application of the principles and techniques of geophysics.”

Also joining the Berkeley community are Professor Evans’s wife, Lely Dai Evans, a Chinese language teacher by day, but skilled in music and many other artistic endeavors, and their 11th-grade daughter Corinne, 9th-grade son Jamie and a “cavachon” dog named Brie who is hypoallergenic and growls only when she has not recieved the proper amount of petting.    The Evanses share a passion for music: David and Lely met as students in the joint orchestra of Caltech and Occidental College, and she received a master of music degree from The University of Western Australia (in early violin performance practice), while he is a bassist and a member of the Berkeley College Orchestra. Lely also loves cooking and brings many aspects of food preparation, as well as music, into her classes.

The family members share a love of active international travel, playing games, and attending the New Haven Chinese Language School, which meets in WLH on Sunday mornings, just steps away from their new home! Corinne is an avid reader who enjoys creative writing, MathCounts, and progressive rock music; Jamie likes pencil drawing, playing piano, and “all sports except for baseball and softball,” and recently walked with his father across Connecticut to raise funds for the UN Refugee Agency. Both children practice capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that combines dance, acrobatics, and music. Brie, a cavachon (half cavalier spaniel, half bichon frise), already has an international fan base, which she looks forward to extending to Yale’s central campus.


Sarah Layedra, Operations Manager

Sarah Layedra joined Berkeley College in June 2017 and is the Operations Manager for Berkeley College.  With direction from Head of College David Evans, Sarah is responsible for managing the financial and administrative operations of Berkeley. This includes overseeing the college’s finances, events, and facilities. She is also the coordinator of the Paul Mellon Fellowship. In addition, Sarah oversees special projects, and serves as liaison between the college and the Yale College Business Office. This deceptive description fails to explain how truly vital Sarah is in maintaining the collegiate environment.  She manages every facet of college life including the oversight of College funds, fellowships and events. Because of Sarah’s involvement in many aspects of Berkeley College life, she will often be a student’s first recourse for questions about fellowships and college life. At most every event, you will find her working behind the scenes with Naomi DiGioia and the College Aides to ensure its success.

Sarah’s favorite free time activity is spending time with her husband Jose and son Andrés.

Sarah is in F15 and can be reached by e-mail at sarah.layedra@yale.edu or at (203) 436-2899 on weekdays. 


Naomi DiGioia, Senior Administrative Assistant

Naomi DiGioia is the Senior Administrative Assistant for Berkeley College and handles the day-to-day business of the Berkeley College Administrative Office.  Naomi works with Sarah and the College Aides to manage college activities as well as the bustling Head of College’s Office. Naomi is the point person for any questions about college life and facilities (including scheduling use of public spaces like the Multipurpose Room, BK Gym, the Music Room, and the Mendenhall Room). If Naomi or the College Aides don’t have the answer, they will be able to direct you to someone who can help. Naomi is very efficient in helping you with any need you may run into including taking care of your chocolate cravings. She is also the person to see if you find yourself wrapped in a towel and locked out of your room. If you need to make an appointment with the Head of College, contact Naomi who is always willing to lend a hand or an ear to students who need it.  

Naomi has worked at Yale since 2004, working for Yale College Summer Session before joining Berkeley College in June of 2017.  Born and raised in the New Haven area, Naomi now lives in beautiful Beacon Falls with her husband and daughter.  In her spare time, Naomi likes to read, cook and spend as much time as she can with family and friends.

Naomi is in F15 and can be reached by e-mail at naomi.digioia@yale.edu or at (203) 432-0501 on weekdays.


College Aides

College Aides are sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have been chosen by the Head of College to assist Sarah and Naomi in the running of the college. They help organize the many events sponsored by the Head of College’s office, from the Freshman Picnic at the beginning of the year to the Berkeley Commencement in May. Each is responsible for specific areas of the College, including the Berkeley Buttery, and the Library. They can often be found in the Head of College’s Office helping make life slightly less stressful for Berkeleyites.

The 2020-2021 Berkeley College Aides Application will be avaliable in January 2020.

College’s Aides for 2019-2020

Adoma Addo ‘22

Adoma is currently sophomore intending to major in Environmental Studies with an interest in global health. With an international upbringing, she is passionate about different genres of music, styles of dance, and, most importantly, types of food. You can often find her in jamming out late at night in the BK buttery while attempting to do her work. She is looking forward to a fun and fulfilling year in BK!

Lauren Chapey ‘20

Lauren is a senior in Berkeley majoring in mechanical engineering. When she isn’t tinkering in the CEID or hanging in the best residential college, you can find Lauren running all around New Haven with the varsity cross-country and track & field teams. She loves listening to music, playing with her dog Waffles, biking, and, of course, BK!

Savannah Crichton ‘21

Savannah is a junior who loves studying biomedical engineering, art & design, and ER&M. If she’s not in the good life center, the Berkeley dining hall, or the digital humanities lab, you can probably find her in Dwight Hall or somewhere along Hillhouse. Some of her hobbies are drawing, wandering around, dreaming of being a pastry chef, and listening to music and podcasts. Recently, Savannah (or Sav if you want to be friends) has been interested in rock climbing and raising plants. Inquire within for more details.

Charlotte Emerson ‘21

Charlotte is a junior at Yale majoring in English. Her favorite place on campus (besides Berkeley of course) is the Yale Farm and in her free time she enjoys running, backpacking, drawing, and playing Banangrams. In Berkeley, you can find her whipping up cookies in the Berkeley kitchen and carefully curating her suitemate-run insta, @yiningdacks. She’s got a lot of love for Berkeley and would love to say hi if you see her around ;)

Amelia Farinas ‘20

Amelia is a senior from Los Altos, CA, majoring in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry. You can usually find her in the lab cutting up worm neurons or “studying” in the Berkeley buttery. She enjoys dancing (both with Yale Danceworks and at Woads) and playing on the club ultimate frisbee team. Aside from being a college aide, she is also one of Berkeley’s IM secretaries (go Coqs!).

Ohshue Gatanaga ‘21

Hi everyone! I’m Ohshue, a junior majoring in Sociology. I wear many hats around Yale and Berkeley College, but nothing quite as unique as the one I wear as a Head of College Aide. I’m passionate about everything Berkeley-related and solidifying Berkeley as the *best* residential college while working alongside the lovely staff at Berkeley. When I’m not thinking about Berkeley, I focus on student mental wellness and illness to make Yale a safer, welcoming environment for people to discuss mental illness–in a sense, a place where Yale affirms people with mental illness. I’m always running around Berkeley with my many “hats” on, so feel free to say hi!

Reese Koppel ‘22

Besides sitting on tree stumps in Northern Spain, Reese Koppel enjoys supporting Yale and New Orleans athletics from the bleachers with the Whaling Crew or from the Berkeley Buttery with his laptop, respectively. When he isn’t in the Berkeley dining hall, office, or reading room, he can be found promoting mindfulness in the Good Life Center, running the Yale Bridge Club, crying in Laz because he doesn’t wanna study, or playing IMs: Go Thundercocks!

Colin McCloskey ‘20

Coming Soon!

Bishoy Megalla ‘20

Bishoy is a senior in Berkeley College from the great state of NJ (otherwise known as God’s country) studying Economics and History. On campus, he is the Chief Executive Officer of the Elmseed Enterprise Fund and a Site Coordinator for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. In his free time, Bishoy can be found craving Louie’s Lunch or a Yorkside milkshake, playing Madden, or hanging out with friends on cross campus! 

Xán Miñán ‘20

Xán (pronounced like “Sean”) is Senior Chief Aide in Berkeley, hailing from Tampa, FL. He is majoring in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies and is also in the Education Studies program – he plans on working in education (both in and out of the classroom) after graduation. Xán is interested in the democratizing functions of higher education, as well as developmental identity formation that occurs in late adolescence/early adulthood, especially as these relate to broader institutional support and constraint. He hopes to formulate his thesis and capstone project around these interests, but that remains to be seen. Xán has recently discovered a deep passion for film studies, and is currently exploring how to use the medium of film and screenwriting to express both his academic interests as well as himself. He keeps his extracurriculars streamlined – other than serving his second year as Chief Aide, Xán is also currently president of St. Anthony Hall, a three-year semi-secret society on campus to which he devotes an unhealthy amount of time. These two things are quite literally all he does. Xán’s favorite color is Pantone 288. He has two dogs back home that he misses dearly, and although they are his babies he professes a deep, abiding love for all dogs. Xán is all too fascinated by shiny objects and colorful displays of light. He is also a recovering caffeine addict.

Qusay Omran ‘21

Qusay is a junior who, as a BK college aide, dabbles in helping out around the college. He really enjoys Chemistry, but he also really enjoys his not-Chemistry classes too. Qusay likes it when his floor is clean and he especially prefers to furnish his suite with shag rugs, but only if the shag is no longer than a few inches. When not volunteering with Havenly or editing papers for the Yale Review of International Studies, he is eating chips or hanging out with friends (or both, tbh).

Veronica Sosa ‘21

¡Hola! Verónica Sosa (she/her/hers) is a junior and Co-Chief Aide of Berkeley College. Veró is from Sherman, TX and is an American Studies major. If you’re ever looking for Veró, you can almost always find her hanging out at either the BK buttery or La Casa, two of her favorite places on campus to procrastinate. Outside of being a BK aide, Veró is also an Academic Strategies Mentor in the CTL, and has previously been involved as a Peer Liaison for La Casa, an Artistic Director for Ballet Folklorico, and a boardmember for the QuestBridge Chapter at Yale. Outside of school, Veró is also very into social activism, exploring New Haven, thrift shopping, and making WAY too many Spotify playlists for her own good. She loves meeting new people, so if you see her around, don’t be afraid to say hi!

Safia Speer ‘20

Safia is a senior in Berkeley majoring in Economics and part of the Global Health Scholars program. She is also in the 5th-Year BA/MPH program with a concentration in Healthcare Management. Safia is very involved with dance and choreography at Yale through Yale Ballet Co and A Different Drum Dance Co. Objectively, she is the best Buttery DJ. If she’s not running late to class, drinking coffee instead of doing homework, or jaywalking, she’s probably sleeping. Always feel free to say hi!

Manahal Tabassum ‘22

Manahal is a sophomore currently majoring in Computer Science. She’s from objectively the best city in the world: New York City. In her free time, you’ll find her making smoothie bowls, procrastinating on her scrapbook, or learning to do something new. Her current (and lifelong) project has been crossing off items on her constantly growing bucket list. She’s a huge dessert person with her favorite one being a classic homemade chocolate chip cookie. I’ve heard she’s incredibly friendly so if you ever see her around don’t hesitate to introduce yourself!

Kate Tewksbury ‘20

Hello everyone! My name is Kate, and I am happy to be a part of the BK Aide cohort. My life story is not extremely interesting so here is an assortment of random facts about me. If I were a fruit, I’d be a peach. I really love sunflowers. I prefer to rank things 1 through 7 instead of 1 through 10. I ran 503 miles total in 2018, but I must admit that I ran them very very slowly. I typically eat dinner at 5 o’clock sharp. My friend, Kass (BK ‘20), and I are the creators of SPINACH sweatshirts. (Please reach out, if interested.) My sister is a vegan, and my preferred milk alternative is almond milk. I take my Spotify playlists seriously. This year, I am trying to read 12 books, and I have 6 more to go. Thanks for tuning in!

Gwen Wheeler ‘20

Gwen is a senior majoring in Environmental Studies. When recently asked whether she had an instagram, she answered no to which the individual responded, “Oh so are you like into nature or something?” Pretty much. On campus Gwen is on the board of the Yale Student Environmental Coalition and Project Bright. She loves running around on the on the lacrosse field with the Women’s Club Lacrosse team…despite being only mediocre at the sport. You can catch Gwen in the BK gym at 6:30am or in the Berkeley dining hall where she eats every single meal. Gwen is also a fan of cooking and podcasts (listen to The Dropout - you won’t regret it!). Don’t be intimidated by Gwen’s RBF. She loves meeting new people and would be so happy for you to say hi! 

Andy Xie ‘21

Andy is a Junior in Berkeley college studying Economics and Political Science with a concentration in Environmental Policy. When he’s not aiding the college, Andy enjoys taking short walks, petting dogs, singing to himself, and reading his horoscope (he is a Gemini). Andy is also passionate about intermittent fasting, recycling, and Claire’s Cake. Andy is the proud owner of a 4-year old Golden Retriever and a turtle of an unknown age.